Friday, December 7, 2007

Note to Myself

It's hard. You come home. Expect the house to be in order - some semblance of neatness. Her eyes are puffy, the lips have a sort of sneer. I try not to stare. Try not to look to see if she has been drinking. It's hard.

I go to another room. I have tried talking to her and asking her "Have you had a drink today?" It's a stupid question. It's like asking a house burglar in your house, "Have you been out stealing?"

"Why, no. Of course not."

It's a stupid question. All I want is the truth. I have stopped seeking the truth. I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for her. She didn't ask for this. She didn't say, "Hey, let me become an alcoholic, because alcoholics have more fun." It's a bummer all the way around. Who I really feel sorry for is my daughter.

Her mommy will not really see her when she comes home today. There will be no, "How was school today, little girl?" There will be no, "Let's sit down and talk about what you learned today." And no "How the other girls were mean/nice to you?"

I have to fill that role of mom and dad. Last night we watched (my daughter and I) Felicity. A cute movie about a girl during the Revolutionary War period who loved horses, and who always helped people. In the movie, Felicity is 10. My daughter is 10. My daughter sat next to me on the couch, and grabbed my hand during three parts. That was great. She has seen the movie now five times. My daughter can now repeat certain parts. Pretty cute. She's excited that I am sitting there watching the movie. She is more excited about telling me to, "wait until you see what happens next" which is even more cute. Here she is the boss. I am on her turf.

We are watching it together - alone - without mom. We watch it to learn more about the Revolutionary War, which she is studying in school. The movie now makes more sense to her. She did not know what a Loyalist was or a Patriot was. Now it all is coming together. Especially since she has studied for a test she has to take today.

I had to leave the house at 5:30AM this morning - for a client meeting. I was gone long enough for my wife to buy alcohol and drink it. Now she lays in bed stating she is headed to lay down, because she is not feeling well. I still look through her pocket book for a receipt. All I find is a huge bottle of gum. It a bottle of gum I never knew they made. It holds 60 chicklet size pieces of gum. I'd say there are twenty left. I was tempted to dump them out and count them. I didn't.

She does not like going to AA meetings. She thinks they are too negative and want to make her drink more. She is saying in the same breath hwoever, that she is going for her 30 day chip next week - next Thursday to be exact. There have been several days where I have "sensed" she had a drink or two. Of course she denies it. I don't fuss about it. Except I tell her, that it's more important to tell the truth, and don't make a bigger lie out of something by collecting a 30 day chip if you have had something to drink. It was the wrong thing to say. Damn it.

I wish she had a stronger sponsor. Her sponsor probably wishes she had a stronger sponsoree.

I left the house strong and full of vigor (what ever the hell that is). I came back to a house of cards and my shoulders are hunched down. I had a great meeting with my client and my staff. I was very pleased. Now I am home. Not so pleased. I am starting to spiral. It's like a whirlpool. Or a plane circling downward toward earth. It's the best way I can describe it. Even though I have never been in a plane circling toward earth or caught in a whirlpool.

I heard someone say that you can act yourself back into a positive state by controlling your posture - and how you are sitting and acting. I read; Act like you were proud and confident and happy. Think, "How would a strong, confident and happy person sit? How would he breath?"

Now sit this way. So, my shoulders go back. Now they are back. I am sitting upright. My stomach is in. My breath is deeper. I am breathing with more force through my nose. (I wonder if my nostrils will become enlarged.) It's a stray thought - but a thought. I am breathing down into my diaphragm -stomach. My chest and stomach are working to suck in air. My chin - it should be up. Hard to type with chin up. Try chin up and down while typing interesting - this is working. My head is going up and down. I look like a nut case. This reminds me of something . . .

My brother is a doctor. He is pretty well renown in certain circles (not my spiraling circles). For the mothers' of children reading this - I came from a large family. "Large" - what is that? More than four children let's say - in order to keep the anonymity. All of us made it through the cycle of having an alcoholic father. He had it tough. Very, very smart man, my father. Articulate. Beat us verbally when drinking. We learned big words, very quickly. We can denigrate people in the flick of a second. Cut 'em and mow'em down. We did that too. But we learned better - from the stinging words of a drunken father, but the kindness of a strong mother. We had a mother who taught us right from wrong. She would not be afraid of hitting us with a belt either. Good lady -still alive. Seeing her this weekend. Never knew how tough she had it. I tell her now - in deeper meaning - how grateful I am for kicking our asses and making us make something of ourselves. And holding us to higher standards than the people around us (our peers).

Anyway - back to doctor brother.

I am in a hotel room. I am having chest pains. (this is about seven years ago - so I did not die). I am concerned. I call dear doctor brother. I tell him what is happening. He listens.

He says: "Hmmm. Having chest pains. Try this. Brother, stick your right arm out straight."

THOSE OF YOU reading this may want to try this. It is a lesson in human anatomy and science. Something I had not known until now.

So I stick out my arm. Straight out.

Now he says; "Make a fist. Have you made a fist brother?" (you too reader).

"Yes" is my reply.

"Turn the fist so the knuckles are facing up, and make your fist tight. Is it tight? Now take the hand of your other arm and place it on the inside of the elbow - where it bends. Now hold out your arm straight, but bend the top portion of the arm - up and down twice. Fast." I do it.

Are you doing this? (I am in a hotel room, phone cradled between my shoulder and chin doing this, mind you.)

He says, "Now do it again. This time take the fist and rap it into your forehead three times."

I do it. I rap my head three times. I say, "Now what?"

"Do it again. And while you are doing it this time, ask yourself, "Knock, knock is anyone home? Go see a doctor you idiot."

Some brother.

I am breathing better.


Jen said...

I hope and pray my kids will see me the same way you see your mother. This post was very encouraging to me today.

Jen said...

And your daughter will always know how much you truly love her. We are just doing our best - and I believe they will see that.
Hope you have a better day today.

Rita said...

I like your post. I tried to breathing technique. It worked. Thank you and God Bless

Anonymous said...

I love how your post is written, you rample and leap like I do followed completely. I soooo relate to being mom and dad